This is what I should have posted yesterday while I was too busy feeling sorry for myself.
A guy I know, or used to know, because he is dead, got his Facebook hacked by that Ray Ban spammer you may or may not be familiar with. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it happen, so when I got tagged in an advertisement, I prepared to delete it and move on until I noticed the name attached.
This tiny slap in the face said something to me about life, or death, but I wasn’t immediately sure what it was. It took two hours for me to pin it down emotionally, but I think I categorized it well enough for my heuristic-loving mind to accept.
It’s the digital version of when you see a news story about a big city moving a cemetery, and then you’re hit by the dawning realization that even your final resting place is worthless, because at some point it’s either going to be lost in a forest, moved somewhere else, or have a building slapped on top of it. Compared to all that, I think I’d rather be cremated and buried nowhere. Maybe I could be unceremoniously flushed down the toilet, where I belong, if it isn’t too much trouble. If you’re up to the deed, make sure you do it in one of those high-flush jobs or you’re going end up plunging.
So then I see Ray Ban Spammer figuratively kicking over headstones and I’m reminded of the time I walked into a patch of woods in Kentucky and dug through underbrush and vines to look at grave markers. “This is where you really end up,” I thought, and that’s if you’re lucky.
I’m not worried about advertising for hackers because it’s not going to work. I am a bit worried that the rash of real life cemetery vandalism may be viral blowback based on our outcry. Technology has a way of stoking these things, and when they, you know, the fascists, the Trumpenproletariat, see that it hurts people, they say, “Oh boy, this really fires the lefties up!” and go to town desecrating graves. For once, however, I’m not going to victim blame you for complaining. It is not trivial to say, “This goes against everything we should stand for as a civilization,” and expect people not to stab at your exposed Achilles tendon, especially when it’s something previously so universally agreed upon as taboo.
Maybe it’s a point of privilege, though, that we build monuments in the first place. Most of the things that ever lived have no resting place except the stone below or your gas tank. Most of the people who ever breathed are now nowhere to be found. As long as there’s someone left to argue for you, you might have a chiseled rock standing somewhere, but even that’s not guaranteed. When your society falls into ruin, maybe you’ll be a lucky one of historical significance. Perhaps an archaeologist will find you interesting, if there are still scientists around after this.
It’s a new frontier of desecration now that our lives are frozen online. Even after we stop ticking, the servers click away, and someone on the other side of the planet needs to make a living too, I guess. They may have mouths to feed, or at least their own. We have memories, until there’s nothing left to remember.
$24.99 one day sale!!!
That sale has been going on for a while now.